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Editorial: What’s the role for parents in LAUSD superintendent search?

LA School Report | October 23, 2015

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Los Angeles Times logoEverybody seems to have an idea about how the Los Angeles Unified school board should go about finding a new superintendent. Open up the interviews to the public, some say. Or at least make the identities of the finalists known, or their background and qualifications, so that people can weigh in with their opinions. Most recently, a coalition of local groups, many of them reform-oriented, sent a letter to the board urging it to form a search committee of community leaders to interview candidates and recommend finalists.

So far, the board hasn’t been interested. It recently voted against holding a public forum to introduce the finalists. And that’s just fine.

This page has frequently criticized the board for micromanaging its superintendents. By the same token, though, the board should not be micromanaged by outside forces as it selects a new chief executive.

Some districts across the country have successfully used independent search committees to hire superintendents, and some have made the finalists’ names public. Those are perfectly valid ways to go about it, under the right circumstances. But the board’s decision to keep this confidential is equally legitimate and far more common.

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